In this week’s commentary on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Pace Energy & Climate Center Executive Director, Franz Litz, discusses Dr. James Hansen, recent winner of the prestigious Edinburgh Medal, for his work on climate change research.
Dr. Hansen was a pioneer of climate change theory, speaking out as an activist for change during a period of political inaction. During the past few decades Dr. Hansen has been joined by thousands of scientists who share his views and support his “loaded dice” analogy. As Litz explains it, “Picture a six-sided die with four of the sides painted red to correspond to warmer than normal weather. For the remaining two sides, imagine one is white for neutral weather and the other is blue for colder than normal weather. Now imagine for any given season you roll that die to see what you’ll get.”
Litz concludes that, “This past winter was warmer than normal for our part of North America. James Hansen might say that we rolled a red side of the die. If next year we experience a normal winter or a colder-than-average winter, that won’t mean that global warming is not happening. Rather, it will mean that we beat the slowly-changing odds.”